– Lead Vocals and Scott Oliver – Lead & Rhythm Guitars met Lee Bryan – Bass and Ken Kowalski – Drums after moving to Hollywood for Scott to attend Musicians Institute’s GIT. 1...> He was also Carl Johns when he left the Hoosier State and relocated to Madison, Wisconsin eight years ago, learned to play guitar and ended up in the group Noahjohn (a sort of a psychedelic Americana project, depending on which album you're listening to), of which released four albums from 1999 to 2004, and toured all over the U.S. and U.K. Charlemagne gained a number of accolades both at home and abroad, and drew comparisons to The Beach Boys, as it was Johns' intention of making the debut a decidedly pop album. In 2004, Johns took his Charlemagne act on the road, touring the U.K.
with singer-songwriter (and Militia Group artist) Denison Witmer, who eventually linked Charlemagne to SideCho. 2...> Even though the band became a regular on the Sunset Strip club scene they were never able to get the major label record deal like so many of the other bands at the time. Thanks to Eonian the world is finally getting to hear Charlemagne in all their glory, and any fan of 80’s Sunset Strip hard rock will find plenty to like about Charlemagne’s music as it is filled with soaring vocals, screaming solos, and gang vocals galore. “Secret Romeo” is the first track on the album and this song could have easily stood along side any song released by Poison, Danger Danger, or any of the other big bands at the time. Great chorus and solo with some excellent vocals both lead and background you can easily find yourself tapping your foot and singing along. “I Don’t Wanna Lie” takes a little heavier approach without losing any of the melody before the chorus breaks out.
Oliver pulls off another very good solo. “She’s Only Young” stays on the heavy path while tackling a very serious subject in child abuse. “So Far Away” is a catchy mid tempo rocker as Barrett wraps his soaring vocals around these lyrics nicely. “Is It Ever Easy” and “I’ve Got You” are both ballads although “Is It Ever Easy” has a nice funk touch added to it.
On “Chances Calling” Scott Oliver has a nice intro before the song kicks in and pulls off another stylish solo, he definitely made me a fan of his playing with this record. “Last Chance” is a very nice instrumental piece where the whole band gets a chance to shine but especially Kowalski’s drumming. Charlemagne would not have started any new musical trends, but had they been given a chance they definitely could have had a nice run on the charts. Sadly though like so many other talented bands on Sunset Strip at the time they were lost in the shuffle before grunge completely killed the hard rock scene in the early 90’s. Any fans of guitar players will find plenty of reasons to pick this album up if only because of Scott Oliver’s excellent playing throughout.
You can check out Charlemagne at myspace.com/officialcharlemagnepage. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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